Contest winner more than musician and volunteer |

Contest winner more than musician and volunteer

Jane Lehrman
Silver and Sage coordinator

Nancy Galt is new to our area, but she brings talent, community service and charm to share.

As “Ms. Idaho Senior America of 2004,” she spent a year representing the state, giving talks on her philosophy, visiting rest homes, entertaining and doing other community service while continuing her career in music.

What did she do to become Ms. Idaho Senior America? Galt explained, “It was not my decision. I was entertaining at a Cowboy Poetry gathering, and the director of the Idaho pageant announced on the microphone that I was going to be a contestant.

“I was thrilled, surprised and excited.”

She filled out the proper forms, and there she was, a contestant and, later, a winner.

At the Ms. Senior America pageant the women are judged by their talent, an interview, their philosophy of life and the evening gown presentation.

As a winner in Idaho, Galt was treated to a week’s stay in Las Vegas, where the contest was held, airfare, and lots of food.

“We were treated like queens,” Galt said.

“There was even a grand ball. It was fun, but a busy time and very tiring. We didn’t get out of the casino from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except for one free afternoon. We put on a big show at the end. The director of the Idaho pageant was with me and my husband also accompanied me.

“The requirements to be a contestant are to be 60 years of age or older and have a talent – singing, dancing, comedy and one woman even made hats. I have many exciting memories of that week, but because writing is difficult for me, I kept a scrapbook of newspaper articles and other memorabilia instead of keeping a journal.”

Now that she and her husband have moved to our area – Coleville, Calif. – she is continuing her music and her community service. She sings and plays at retirement centers, fairs and community events.

“In my rare spare time, I look in the paper to see what is going on, then talk to people in charge of the events. I sang at a wellness fair, the senior center barbecue at Lampe Park, and the Taste of Gardnerville at Woodette’s Diner with Ron Sutton, who plays and sings with me when he is in town.

“I was afraid to perform alone until I was over 50. My father and sister sang and I sang in choirs and at Sunday school, but never alone. I learned the guitar when I was about 28 and was self-taught with a few lessons.”

Galt put her husband, a school psychologist, through school by working as a vocational nurse, but decided it was not the right thing for her. They retired to a ranch in Idaho for eight years, a natural thing to do since he was raised on a farm. They have one son, one daughter and two grandchildren.

Now that they are more or less settled here, she would like to make some tapes of her music – country, gospel and pop.

“As a hobby, I like angels, and I cut them out of wood and paint them. I make all size angels – tiny to quite large,” Galt added.

A “preacher’s kid” and a spiritual person, Galt is personable and interesting to meet.

She can be reached at (530) 495-2746.